I joined Gyan lab on 22nd May 2014 with the hope to play a role in changing the current education system. This is a 3.5 years old start-up co-founded by former students of MIT (Manipal) - Priyadeep and Sonali. During these 10 days that I have spent and worked here, I analysed the ways in which this start-up is creating something valuable which can change the way our kids learn, something which can successfully engage students in STEM education through hands on learning.
The Most Innovative Competition for Kids - Kidovators Challenge Grand Finale held on June 1 in Bangalore
Gyan Lab Kidovators Challenge 2013 grand finale was held on 1st June (Sunday) in Bangalore with the All India winners of classes 3 – 8 being declared as Champion Kidovators of India. KD Ambani Vidyamandir, Jamnagar was awarded the Best School Award of Rs 1 Lac.
The competition, presented by State Bank of India and National Payments Corporation of India has been started to promote practice-based learning simulating real life scenarios and foster innovation and creativity in kids across India. The competition has been conceptualized by Gyan Lab, an education start-up operating out of Bangalore and spearheaded by its Co-Founder & COO, Sonali Gupta.
In this inaugural edition, there were two rounds of competition. Round 1 was conducted across 90 cities and towns in 18 states across India in January 2014 with more than 25,000 students from 400+ schools participating in the same. The results of the same were declared in March and top 150 students from various grades (Grades 3 – 8) were invited to participate in the Finals in Bangalore on 1st June. These 150 kids from various towns and cities from 13 states travelled to Bangalore where accommodation, food, transport and all other arrangements were made by the organizers.
In the finals, the kids were given various countries to represent as Heads of States with these countries facing severe problems. For example, students of class 8 had ‘Freedom of Press’ as their problem statement with them representing countries like China, North Korea, Rwanda, Syria, etc. and they had to be a part of a Round Table Conference where had to discuss the problems and take strong resolutions towards solving them. The kids had tremendous fun and a great deal of learning about solving real problems which would groom them to be future leaders in various fields.
The following kids were declared Champion Kidovators of India:
· Class 3: Tejas Shandilya, Millenium School, Mohali
· Class 4: Ribhav Ravindra Sethi, KD Ambani Vidyamandir, Jamnagar
· Class 5: Himanshi, Siddhartha Public School, Rohtak
· Class 6: Samarth Bansal, St. Mary’s School, Morena (MP)
· Class 7: Yash Bansal, BGS National Public School, Bangalore
· Class 8: Moksh Shukla, Resonance, Kota
The Best School award of Rs 1 lac was handed over to K D Ambani Vidyamandir, Jamnagar and the Best Enterprising School award of Rs 1 lac was a tie between SBOA School, Chennai and BGS National Public School, Bangalore.
At the award ceremony, Mr. M Chandrasekaran (Corporate Advisor & Board Member, Manipal Group) was the Chief Guest. Our special guests included Mr. M. N. Rao (ex-MD & CEO, SBI Life), Ms. Shradha Sharma (Founder CEO, Yourstory), Mr. Pulak Kumar Sinha (General Manager, SBI) and R. Chellappa (Deputy General Manager, SBI) were present to give away the top prizes and encourage the kids to think out of box.
At the event, Mr. Chandrasekaran said, “I urge all parents and students present to carry out the message of Gyan Lab to others so that they can also take advantage of the competition.”
Mr. Pulak Sinha said,”It is very exciting and interesting to see kids as young as 8 – 9 years old talking so smartly about global problems and issues. I remember that when I was their age, I had no clue about any of these topics. I am sure the future of this country is very bright.”
Ms. Shradha Sharma said,”All kids present here, irrespective of their ranks, are winners. I ask all of you to keep believing in yourself and your abilities, and keep dreaming. One day, I hope to write your stories about the great work that you would have done.”
Ms. Sonali Gupta also gave an insight about how the whole event was put into shape and the work that happened in the background to make Kidovators happen successfully. She also spoke about the genesis of Gyan Lab and said,” This competition has been conceptualized to reach out to you i.e. the parents and the teachers. Our kids are special and can go way beyond just books. I would urge you to let them be free and do what they want to do. This would be the best for kids, us and a solid future on the foundation of innovation and creativity.”
The sponsors and partners of the entire competition include Alok Industries, Ajanta Pharmaceuticals, Dainik Bhaskar, RuPay, IndiaReads.com, ExamKaFunda & LearnHive.
- Team Gyan Lab